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Public health campaigns undermined by amount spent on junk food advertising

A recent study conducted by Cancer Council Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer confirmed that the commercial advertising spend for sugary or artificially sweetened drinks and diet and weight loss ads significantly outweighs the advertising spend on public health campaigns in Australia by more than AU$247 million.

Findings highlight the glaring dominance of advertising for unhealthy, sugary drinks relative to public health advertising promoting healthy weight and lifestyle. The food industry needs to be called to account; they are marketing unhealthy products in Australia that directly contribute to 13 types of cancer.

“We need to tip the scales and push for tougher restrictions on junk food advertising, particularly advertising that is specifically targeted towards children,” said Executive Manager Obesity Prevention, Jane Martin. “More funding needs to go into public health campaigns to promote healthy eating and healthy weight.”

A multi-strategy approach is required to reconfigure the marketing environment to protect and support public health rather than undermine it.

 

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